About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Universe chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Origins of the universe|
Evidence for the big bang theory
|How the universe was formed, expanding and contracting universes;|
Supporting evidence of the big bang theory, such as background radiation, red-shift, expansion;
How main sequence, dwarf and giant stars are formed;
Radio, refracting and reflecting telescopes
|Tuesday|| Galaxy formation|
Types of stars
The sun's structure
Life cycle of the sun
|How spiral, irregular and elliptical galaxies formed;|
Size and color of stars and how this relates to their life cycle;
Layers and how fusion produces stable energy;
Birth, main sequence and white dwarf
|Wednesday|| Supernova and supergiant life cycle|
Neutron star life cycle
Black hole life cycle
|How large stars, neutron stars and black holes are formed, grow and die;|
Facts about Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
|Thursday|| Formation of Earth and the moon|
Planetary predictors of extraterrestrial life
|Theories regarding how Earth and the mood were formed;|
How the atmospheres of planets differ and what this means for the possibility of life
|Friday|| Outer planets|
Asteroids, meteorites and comets
|Facts about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune;|
Facts about Pluto, Eris, Huamea and Ceres;
Characteristics of asteroids, meteorites and comets
1. Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes
Students will learn the origins of the universe, the Big Bang theory, the timeline of the universe, how the universe is still expanding to this day, and what astronomers expect the universe to look like in the future.
2. Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion
Discover what evidence exists to support the Big Bang theory of the birth of the universe. Learn how cosmic background radiation, the red shift of light and the ongoing expansion of the universe led scientists to believe that the universe was started with the Big Bang.
3. Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars
Learn how stars are born, beginning with a protostar. Then learn about stars in later stages of life, including main sequence stars, brown dwarfs, red giants, and black holes.
4. Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes
Learn about the different types of telescopes that astronomers use: X-ray, radio, gamma ray, reflecting and refracting. Learn what the differences are between them and what different things they show us about the universe.
5. Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies
This lesson explains how galaxies form, starting with the Big Bang. You'll also learn about the solar nebula hypothesis and three galaxy types, including spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies.
6. Types of Stars by Size, Color and Life Cycle
Learn to identify the different sizes and colors of stars and how they relate to the star life cycle. In this lesson, we'll talk about spectral classification, how many stars there are of each type and the approximate color of the different classes of stars.
7. Structure of the Sun
Discover the layers of the sun, including the core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Find out which layers you can see from Earth. Investigate what sunspots and solar flares are.
8. Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle
Discover our sun, the provider of energy for life on Earth. Learn how the sun was born, how it lives as a main sequence star, how it will age into a red giant and how it will die as a white dwarf.
9. Life Cycle of Neutron Stars
Discover the life of a neutron star, including how it's born after a supernova explosion and how its extreme pressure causes protons and electrons to combine into neutrons. Discover also how pulsars are rotating neutron stars that will eventually slow down to become regular neutron stars.
10. Supernova and Supergiant Star Life Cycle
Learn about one of the biggest explosions known to humankind - a supernova. Follow a star's life cycle and learn how a star changes from a red giant to a supernova to a black hole or neutron star.
11. Life Cycle of Black Holes
Learn about black holes, their myths and their reality. Learn how black holes form after stars undergo supernovae and create singularities. Discover how big black holes grow, how scientists find black holes and where black holes are located in the universe.
12. Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars
Take a tour of the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Known as the terrestrial planets, find out what makes each of them unique and how they are different from the outer planets, the gas giants.
13. Formation of the Earth: Theories
In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.
14. Formation of the Moon: Theories
Explore the four major theories on the formation of the Moon. The theories include the fission theory, capture theory, condensation theory and giant impact theory. Also look at both information supporting and flaws found in these theories.
15. Planetary Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life
Investigate what is needed for life to exist anywhere and the implications for life in our solar system beyond Earth. Consider Mars and some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, including Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Enceladus.
16. Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Take a tour of the outer planets of our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Find out what makes each of these gas giants unique and learn about Pluto, a dwarf planet.
17. Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres
Discover why Pluto had to leave the league of planets and was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Learn the definitions for planet and dwarf planet. Find out about the currently classified dwarf planets in our solar system: Pluto, Eris, Ceres, Haumea and Makemake.
18. Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics
This lesson will cover the definitions and characteristics of asteroids, comets and meteorites. It will also explore what impact they have had on Earth and the impact they might have in the future.
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